The NFL’s owners aren’t expected to make a decision about the timing and location of the 2015 draft when they convene on Tuesday in Atlanta. When a decision eventually is made, the end result could be that the draft will happen in a place other than New York.
Peter King of TheMMQB.com, citing a “solid source” (not to be confused with our usual flimsy ones), reports that it’s “likely” the draft will be held in a new city next year. King guesses that Chicago will be the destination.
The good news is that the league doesn’t want to hold the draft on Mother’s Day weekend again. King believes it will unfold on April 30 through May 2.
The league, as King explains it, isn’t happy with Radio City Music Hall, which forced the draft to move two weeks later in 2014 due to a scheduling conflict that went away due to poor ticket sales. Still, it seems that other considerations have taken over the process. The league finally has decided to act on the reality that the draft is a commodity that can be marketed to the highest bidder, in the same way the Super Bowl is. More competition means more money.
More money also may come from changes (eventually) to the way the draft is televised. At some point, the league surely will move the first round from ESPN to a broadcast network, making the audience even larger and inevitably creating even more money.
Bigger. Better. More profitable. That’s been the story for the NFL since the merger, and the NFL seems to be intent to apply that mindset fully and completely to the draft.